FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The empty lot across the street from Parkview Field could soon be home to a new housing development. Fort Wayne city leaders made that announcement Thursday afternoon.
The lot was cleared in 2013, but has been empty since as the city tried to find the right developer.
Cityscape Flats will have 167 units made up of studio, one bedroom and two bedroom apartments, and eight row houses. There will also be 177 space parking garage.
They city will contribute up to $7 million for the development and $20 million will be invested privately. The city will pay for the parking garage project as well as some streetscape work with existing tax increment financing (TIF) funds and tax phase-in. According to the release from the city, no property taxes will be used to fund the city’s portion of the project. Tim Ash of Ash Brokerage, the developer of the Ash Skyline project, will also be the majority equity investor in this housing project for downtown Fort Wayne.
Monthly rents for the complex could range from $800 to $1400, but those details are still being worked out. Construction work may start as soon as spring of this year with completion expected in about two years.
“I continue to be encouraged by the unprecedented growth and development taking place in the heart of our city,” said Mayor Henry. “We’re committed to meeting the high demand for downtown housing options. The city of Fort Wayne is moving in the right direction as we invest in the future and enhance economic and quality of life opportunities.”
The mayor cited a study which showed that downtown can handle 3,000 more housing spaces and with this announcement and other housing development projects the city is about half way there.
“We’re consistently being asked by citizens that they want to live downtown, but options are limited now. Almost every housing option we have downtown is full. We have a waiting list in a number of those areas. Domo stepping up and being willing to invest in a multi-apartment complex building in the heart of the city is a very big deal,” Henry said.
Scott Sorensen, a partner at Domo Development, said the housing complex can be transformational for downtown.
“I think this city will be very different in the next five to six years. I think a lot more [development] will be coming,” he said. “You’ve got to have some level of public-private development initially and it serves as a magnet to bring, you know we’re talking about grocery stores and drug stores and ultimately movie theaters, but you’ve got to get people down here first. That’s why this project is transformational. Step one is getting people down here.”
Domo Development also just completed the Steeplechase apartment complex off Diebold and Dupont Roads on the northside of Fort Wayne. Eric Doden, who ran and lost in the 2011 Republican primary for Fort Wayne mayor, was also a partner at Domo. He’s currently on leave from the development firm while he’s working as president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. Sorensen said Doden’s passion for Fort Wayne was a big driving force behind the firm’s investments in the city, but said he is also excited for the upcoming project.
“There is a lot of potential for downtown Fort Wayne. This site is an awesome site,” Sorensen said.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) the City of Fort Wayne reached with Domo Development headed Eric Doden, LLC will be before the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission at its next meeting on at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, January 20 in room 30 at Citizens Square.